Riding a road bike fast feels great, but cornering fast is arguably the best feeling of all. Here is the correct technique.
When approaching a corner, you n eed to gauge how much speed you'll be able to carry through it. The factors that indicate this are how sharp the corner is, how wide the road is and how grippy the surface is. That seems like a lot of information to look for, but it's all interlinked and before long one quick glance will give you all the information you need.
2. Scan the road
You should be scanning the road in front of you anyway but it's particularly important when cornering. Depending on your speed can be looking upwards of 25 to 50 meters in front of you. When scanning a corner, the first question is can you see that exit? This will tell you how sharp the corner is. If you can see the exit, are there any other indicators that can tell you where the road will go? Trees next to the road or street lights, for example, even the road signs. Knowing how sharp a corner tells you to how fast you can hit it. If the road is wide, you have a bit more room to choose your line, which can effectively make a corner less sharp, so factor this in as well. Finally, the road surface. If it's wet or broken or loose, you have less grip, so adjust speed accordingly. Now we have ascertained what speed you can enter the corner, it's time to think about your technique on the bike. Get your weight low, ride on the drops, and bend your elbows. This lowers your center of gravity which means you can turn tighter for a given speed or just turn faster. Riding on the drops also pulls your weight forward which can add grip to the front wheel.
3. Drop your pedal
Drop your pedal on the outside of the corner to the 6 o'clock position and put your weight through it, keeping your backside off the saddle. Lean the bike towards the direction the corner and if you really cranking it over shift the bike more than your body, letting it move underneath you. The fastest line through a corner is almost always through the apex. For fast, sweeping corners, you don't always need to use the full width of the road. So if you can cut it tight enough hug the inside all the way around for the shortest line. Always fix your gaze on the apex and then the exit of the corner. Looking where you want to go is an important part getting around it. Often when people run wide, it's because they panic and then look where they think they might crash. If you have to scrub off a lot of speed for a sharp corner, it's worth pre-selecting the gears. You will need for accelerating out of the exit. 53-11 is a big gear to get rolling again, so take the last few moments before a corner to shift into a manageable gear to get moving. Avoid braking in a corner as much as possible, your tires are under a lot of pressure to maintain traction when cornering fast. Adding further stresses to them with braking is a recipe for losing it. Most crashes in corners come from this fact, so it's really worth keeping your entrance speed under control.
4. Stay relaxed
Staying relaxed when cornering is one of the most important aspects. If you ever watch cycling on TV, you can actually see when a rider gets nervous and not just by how much slower they're starting to go, but how their arms tense up and how they lose the ability to turn smoothly. If you suffer from a loss of confidence, slow down a little and build it back up again by gradually increasing your speed. So remember to think about your approach, your technique, don't brake and you'll be on track to super fast cornering. It's much harder for riders to chase you back. One of the best ways of achieving this is to attack with speed. Don't see on the front of a group and try to sprint away as the chances are...